Over one million A&E patients are being kept in hospital wards when they could have been treated at home, according to a report released today (Thursday 23 October) by the National Audit Office (NAO).
Admissions to A&E have increased by a third in the past decade and a quarter of patients who arrive in emergency departments are later admitted to a hospital ward. The NAO report warns that the NHS is wasting £2 billion each year treating patients in hospital wards when it could have been avoided.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘People with dementia occupy up to a quarter of hospital beds. We already know that they often stay for too long, leave more ill than when they arrived and are likely to be readmitted and eventually die in hospital.
‘The national audit of dementia in hospitals shows a continuing trend of people with dementia missing out on the excellent support and care they deserve. The answer is not more hospital beds – we urgently need community solutions that help people with dementia maintain their independence and prevent unnecessary emergency admissions to hospitals.’